Decreases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 4 of 4: The Yarn Over & Japanese Methods

This is part four of a four part blog series on short rows. For the last post, we’re covering short rows that are commonly used in sock knitting (particularly for turning the heel). These methods do not produce holes and are considered decreasing short rows. Click here to read the blog from the beginning.

The Yarnover Method

An easy way to remember how to work this method is to note that on purl rows the yarn goes under the needle and on knit rows the yarn goes over the needle.

Yarnover Method with the Knit Side Facing

  1. On the purl side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the knit side is now facing you.
  2. Bring the yarn over the right needle (to the front of the needle and then over it) and then knit the next stitch.

Yarnover Method with the Purl Side Facing

  1. On the knit side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the purl side is now facing you.
  2. Bring the yarn under and around the right needle and then purl the next stitch.

Once all short rows have been worked, you will now work across the entire row. Notice that you have pairs of stitches – the yarnover and the stitch beside it.

 Closing the Gaps: Knit Side Facing

  1. On the right side of the work (knit side), work to the first yarnover stitch pair.
  2. Knit the first stitch. The next stich will be the yarnover that was worked. But, the yarnover will be oriented in the wrong direction on the needle. Re-orient the yarnover stitch so the front leg of the stitch is facing the proper direction.
  3. K2tog: knit the re-oriented yarnover stitch together with the next stitch.
  4. On the next right side row, you will work in the same way but there will be 2 yarnovers before the next knit stitch. You will knit 3 stitches together to close the gap.

 

Closing the Gaps: Purl Side Facing

  1. On the wrong side of the work (purl side), work to the first yarnover stitch pair.
  2. Purl the first stitch. The next stich will be the yarnover that was worked. But, the yarnover AND the next stitch will be oriented in the wrong direction on the needle. We will work a SSP to resolve this.
  3. Slip the yarnover as if to knit, slip the next purl stitch as if to knit. Move both sts back to the left needle (from tip to tip). Insert the right needle into the two stitches through their back loops and p2tog.
  4. On the next wrong side row, you will work in the same way but there will be 2 yarnovers before the next purl stitch. Purl 3 stitches together to close the gap (SSSP).

Japanese Method: this method is also used in sock knitting for working short row heels and toes. It is worked similar to the yarnover method (see above). The difference is that in the Japanese method, the turning yarn is marked using a removable stitch marker and you are not re-orienting the stitch because you are not twisting them when you work the stitch.

Japanese Method with the Knit Side Facing

  1. On the purl side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the knit side is now facing you.
  2. Place a locking stitch marker on the turning yarn. Slip the next stitch purlwise wyib.
  3. On the subsequent row when you are closing the gap, knit the stitch that the stitch marker is on.
  4. Then, pull up on the marker and put the stitch onto the left needle – do this without twisting the stitch. Remove the marker
  5. Now k2tog.

 

Japanese Method with the Purl Side Facing

  1. On the knit side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the purl side is now facing you.
  2. Place a locking stitch marker on the turning yarn. Slip the next stitch purlwise wyif.
  3. On the subsequent row when you are closing the gap, purl the stitch that the stitch marker is on.
  4. Then, slip the next stitch purlwise wyif.
  5. Now, pull up on the marker and put the stitch onto the left needle – do this without twisting the stitch. Remove the marker.
  6. Place the slipped stitch back on the left needle.
  7. Now p2tog.

 

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Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 3 of 4: The German Method

This is part three of a four part blog series on short rows. In this post, we will cover the German short row method. Click here to read the blog from the beginning.

German Method with the Purl Side Facing

  1. On the knit side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the purl side is now facing you.
  2. Make sure the yarn is forward (in the front of your work).
  3. Slip 1 stitch purlwise.
  4. Then, pull straight up on the turning yarn. The yarn will come over the back of the needle. This creates the double stitch.
  5. Keeping the tension, purl the next stitch and work to the next turning point.

 

German Method with the Knit Side Facing

  1. On the purl side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the knit side is now facing you.
  2. Move the yarn forward (to the front of your work).
  3. Slip 1 stitch purlwise.
  4. Then, pull straight up on the turning yarn. The yarn will come over the back of the needle. This creates the double stitch.
  5. Keeping the tension, knit the next stitch and work to the next turning point.

Closing the Gaps Knit & Purl Side

Once you have created the double stitch, it will be treated as 1 stitch in the subsequent rows. When you have finished all short rows and are ready to work across the row, you will work the double stitches by using k2tog on the knit side and p2tog on the purl side.

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Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 2 of 4: The Standard Method vs. Wrap & Turn

This is part two of a four part blog series on short rows. In this post, we will cover the standard short row method and the wrap and turn method. Click here to read the blog from the beginning.

Standard Method

Work across the row to the turning point and then turn the work. It’s really that simple. The so-called “flaw” in this method is that it produces a hole at the turning point. Bear in mind that a “flaw” sometimes can be used as a design element within a garment. But holes aren’t always wanted and there are other methods which allow the knitter to avoid holes when working short rows.

Wrap and Turn Method

This is a commonly used method in sweater knitting and is often indicated within patterns as “wrap and turn” or w&t.

Wrap and Turn Knitwise

  1. Work across the row to the turning point.
  2. Slip the next st purlwise wyib from the left needle to the right needle.
  3. Move yarn to the front (wrapping the st).
  4. Slip the stitch back onto the left needle. Turn your work.

Wrap and Turn Purlwise

  1. Work across the row to the turning point.
  2. Slip the next st purlwise wyif from the left needle to the right needle.
  3. Move yarn to the back (wrapping the st).
  4. Slip the stitch back onto the left needle. Turn your work.

Closing the Gaps: Knit the Wraps

  1. For decreasing short rows: knit the wraps on the first row after all short row shaping is complete.
  2. For increasing short rows: knit (RS rows) or purl (WS rows) the wrap together with the stitch on the needle as you work the subsequent short row.

*Note that in some designs, the next row may be a bind off row after working all short rows.

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Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 1 of 4: The Types & Methods of Short Row Shaping

Short row shaping is a technique that can be used to add or remove fabric from a specific area of a garment. Short rows can take several shapes within a garment: they can be worked to form a wedge (dart), a convex curve or a concave curve. They are often used to shape cap sleeves, custom fit the bust, shape shoulders, and as a general design element within a garment.

To get started, I’ve outlined some key terms below:

Turning Point: this is where the knitting changes direction from one row to the next row.

Turning Yarn: this is the working yarn – turning yarn is used in some of the techniques outlined in this series.

Gap: the space (or gap) in the knitting where you turned the stitch in the previous row.

Types of Short Rows

June Hemmons Hiatt describes two types of short rows in The Principles of Knitting: decreasing short rows and increasing short rows. I like this classification because it provides a good general description of the different types of short rows.

Decreasing short rows are more common than increasing short rows and form a convex shape. They are called decreasing short rows because the number of active stitches decreases row by row.

Decreasing Short Rows

Increasing short rows are worked from the side edge of the garment and move toward the center row by row and form a concave shape. They are called increasing short rows because the number of active stitches increases row by row.

Increasing Short Rows

It’s important to know if you are working a decreasing or increasing short row because the technique for “closing the gap” differs between the two. For example, in the Pretty in Mink pattern, I used increasing short rows to form the reverse shirttail at the front cast on edge of the garment. This method is outlined in Sally Melville’s Knitting Pattern Essentials. In this method, you work past the gap on the subsequent row – which means you are closing the gaps as you knit the next row. This differs from the decreasing short rows where you close the gaps after all short row shaping is complete or close the gaps as you bind off.

Techniques for Working Short Rows

The short row shaping techniques discussed in this series fall under decreasing and/or increasing short rows. In Part 2-4 of this blog series, I’ve provided information and instructions for the below listed short row shaping techniques. Please note that instructions are written for Stockinette stitch.

  • Part 2 The Standard and Wrap & Turn Method: can be worked as either a decreasing or increasing short row depending on how the pattern is written.
  • Part 3 The German Short Row Method: can be worked as either a decreasing or increasing short row depending on how the pattern is written.
  • Part 4 The Yarn Over and Japanese Method (Sock Knitting): these methods are worked as decreasing short rows and are typically used to turn the heel of a sock.

Decreasing Short Rows Using the Wrap & Turn Method

 Decreasing Short Rows Wrap & Turn

Increasing Short Rows Using the Wrap & Turn Method

Increasing Short Rows Wrap & Turn

Decreasing Short Rows Using the German Method

Decreasing Short Rows German

 Decreasing Short Rows Using the Yarnover Method

Decreasing Short Rows Yarn Over

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